Kirkus Review (US)
A lively, energetic debut novel … the talented Obioma exhibits a richly nuanced understanding of culture and character. A powerful, haunting tale of grief, healing, and sibling loyalty.
The Harvard Crimson
The Fishermen,” Nigerian author Chigozie Obioma’s debut novel, is a searing, incandescent exploration of the repercussions that come from acting on such a belief…Obioma so wonderfully casts the events that they come to feel natural, even inevitable.
The Globe and Mail
Obioma has mastered that tension essential to tragedy: In hindsight, the events seem inevitable, and yet you can’t help wondering if things could have turned out differently. Which is to say Obioma is a very good writer.
Darkly mythic…a kind of African Cormac McCarthy, committed to a stark vision of life in which our pretensions to civilization are forever held up and exposed as skin deep: that what really runs us is deeper down, in the blood.
Obioma writes with gorgeous restraint reminiscent of the intricate prose in a Tolstoy novella…It just doesn’t get better than this. Get used to the name: Obioma is here to stay.
Seamlessly interweaving the everyday and the elemental, Obioma’s strange, imaginative debut—the translation rights to which have been sold in 12 countries—probes the nature of belief and the power of family bonds…Obioma excels at juxtaposing sharp observation, rich images of the natural world, and motifs from biblical and tribal lore; his novel succeeds as a convincing […]
The Independent UK
The Fishermen is a strikingly accomplished debut, hailing Chigozie Obioma as a bold new voice in Nigerian fiction. It comes as no surprise it’s made this year’s Man Booker Dozen, and I for one would be surprised and disappointed if it doesn’t make the shortlist next month.
Times Literary Supplement
The most impressive feature of The Fishermen is that, while it is ostensibly a naturalist novel, it is suffused with an air of legend and the supernatural…. ingenious, subtle, ambitious and intriguing
Financial Times (US & UK)
A striking, controlled and masterfully taut debut… The tale has a timeless quality that renders it almost allegorical and it is the more powerful for it.
This book is something very unique. I understand that you have to have comparisons, especially for new readers, but there is something about the narrative voice that is so neat and original that I have trouble comparing him to anyone. I rather hope that people start to compare others with him eventually